Forensic Science Reform: Justice Department issues first standards for forensic expert testimony

Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in Oct. 2015 (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

The top US government agency involved in funding and management oversight of the FBI forensic science community just put out “guidance”on forensic testimony and associated documentation. It still will be up to the myriad police crime labs to follow/ignore/ignore again these rules. One stated aim is “clearing the innocent.” Tell that to some DAs I have encountered over the years. Some have perfect records of conviction.

The multi-forensic science and police science guidance on testing, report writing and testimony is here.  Public comments can be posted here. (somewhere).

Here is a comment from Peter Neufeld.

“However, he said, “It’s remarkable that the FBI developed internal standards for decades, without ever subjecting those guidelines either to public comment or more importantly, to the scrutiny of the nation’s leading experts in statistics and probabilities, with the exception of DNA,” Neufeld said. “But we hope this is the beginning of a new era, and we applaud that.” ”

 

Full article from the Washington Post’s Stephen Hsu.

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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